Paul Vincent Photography

Man in the mirror

Studio updates.

Working on #dosomethingfornothing

 

I first heard of the #dosomethingfornothing hashtag on my way to work one morning. I was listening to the Valerie Jardin photography podcast ‘Hit the Streets’ in which she was speaking with great enthusiasm about the time she’d spent with Joshua Coombes on the streets of New York City.

 ©Valérie Jardin

©Valérie Jardin

For the benefit of the reader, Joshua is a hairdresser who in 2015 took his scissors and clippers out of the salon he worked at, to offer free haircuts for those sleeping on the streets that he walked down each day. Shortly after he started the #dosomethingfornothing hashtag with a mission to connect with the homeless on a human level and to share their stories on social media. What started in London has now led him on an incredible journey. Through working with different brands and non-profit organisations, he and his trusty scissors have traveled to over 10 different countries around the globe cutting hair for the homeless.

Top bloke eh? 

Anyway, Valerie’s call out was for help from people that would be happy to #dosomethingfornothing including anyone able to help them create an ebook that documented the people and experiences they had together in NYC. Although interested, I assumed that in this day and age, unless you’re quick off the mark, someone will have beaten you to it and the podcast had already been out for a few days.

 ©Valérie Jardin

©Valérie Jardin

The following week a brand new episode of ‘Hit the Streets’ popped up on my phone and once again Valerie was looking for assistance. I didn’t hesitate this time and after a really positive Skype conversation between the three of us I was on board.

I was excited. Genuinely excited. This is the first time I’d given up a significant amount of time professionally without payment, yet it felt more rewarding than I could have possibly imagined. I’d been thinking for some time about how I could use my skills to benefit others and this was the perfect fit.

Over the next month or so the ebook began to take shape, proofs went back and forth and it finally launched in early December. It’s downloadable now on a donation basis, people have donated anything from £5 to £50 and every penny goes directly towards helping Joshua continue his selfless work on the streets. You can also download for free, so if you’re really strapped for cash post-Chritmas but are curious, as long as the message continues to be spread then go for it.

 ©Valérie Jardin

©Valérie Jardin

Being part of #dosomethingfornothing felt infinitely more tangible and gratifying than just setting up a monthly direct debit to a charity. Needless to say it was much more time consuming and challenging than watching your bank account drop a fiver each month, but if anything this only added to the sense of importance this project holds for him and the people he meets on the streets.

To summarise I must say it was a great adventure being part of such a unique collaboration. Joshua, Valerie, Mel (editor) and myself were all in it together, a team of individuals in completely different parts of the world giving up our time and energies to do a little bit of good in the world. Though we’ve completed the NYC ebook, I very much hope this is just the beginning of my journey with the project. 

Do something for nothing? I did, and I’m all the richer for it.


To download the book and help Joshua continue his fantastic work click here

Here are a few other links that might be of interest.

Joshua Coombes
Instagram
Facebook

Valerie Jardin
Website
Instagram

Mel Rolleri
Website
Instagram

If you are a publisher, or a gallery owner interested in working with #dosomethingfornothing, please contact Valérie, valerie@valeriejardin.com or Josh, joshuackcoombes@gmail.com.